“I always give some Glutamine to heal their leaky gut”

Cue pained expression on my face.  No, I’m not a fan.  I take that back, I have no problem with the amino acid itself and I’m still in awe of its incredible multifaceted role in the gut.  What I do have a giant issue with is the mismatch between everything we are being told Glutamine is going to help our patients with, and the dosages that apparently will do that, and the reality.   I know, I’m attacking the Holy Grail of Gut Health 101….right? But it’s time to set the record straight. Firstly, where’s the evidence at in terms of Glutamine interventions in GIT pathology, particularly in relation to reducing excessive intestinal permeability and improving lining integrity  Well if you’re a rat – Good news!  Rats’ GITs have a greater dependence on Glutamine than ours, a deficiency of this amino produces clear reproducible negative effects and supplementation fixes these brilliantly!

But if you’re treating humans not rats – well – the evidence & the case for Glutamine for the Gut is not so straight forward or impressive.

Sorry – wasn’t sure how to break that to you.  If you want to read one of the latest & most comprehensive reviews on human RCTs, read Kim & Kim 2017 here. But brace yourself, it isn’t all roses.  And then once you’ve read this, can we please, please, PLEASE have a conversation about what constitutes an effective dose of Glutamine, people!!

You see, Glutamine is the most abundant amino acid in your diet and in your body – so let me tell you the average amount in all your ‘gut repair’ formulas…ain’t doing anything!

Unless you’re ignoring all the manufacturers’ recommendations and prescribing ‘bucket doses’ rather than teaspoons.  That’s right, you heard it here first (sadly) – that 1-7g per day dose your chosen supplement company has included in their gut healing formulas, does not reflect the research in this area, it is sub-therapeutic dosing and more like homeopathy than a physical intervention!  Turns out you literally do need A Gut Full of Glutamine! to improve patients’ gut integrity 🙁

Is Glutamine your go-to prescription for patients with gut problems?  Do you look for good levels of it when you’re choosing your gut repair formulas? Most of us do this because we’ve been taught that a deficiency negatively impacts the gut tight junctions , villi structure and immunity etc. but how long has it been since you’ve reviewed the latest human studies on the digestive effects of Glutamine supplementation?  The time is now.  This podcast, A Gut Full of Glutamine!, cuts to the chase  on the big research findings that warrant our urgent attention and necessitate serious adjustments in how we use Glutamine for the Gut.

If you are a subscriber to the UU30 podcasts, you can now listen to this podcast in your online account or purchase the latest podcast here.